Your Guide to Funeral Planning | 12.31.2022

The Casket of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI : A Closer Look at The Funeral

(Pope's Coffin) Casket Of Pope Emeritus



On December 31, 2022, as the world wound down and lay awaiting the new year, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI passed away at the age of 95 in the Mater Ecclesiae monastery in the Vatican. The monastery had been his place of residence since he renounced the papacy in 2013. And until his passing this year, he was the longest living Pope as per the data we have on record. 

The Vatican has announced that the Pope’s body will be placed in St. Peter’s Basilica from Monday, January 3, 2023. The funeral mass is expected to take place on Thursday, Jan. 5, in St. Peter’s Square. Since Pope Francis is the sitting Pope now, he is expected to preside over the funeral of Pope Emeritus. 

About Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

Pope Emeritus was elected as the 265th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church in 2005, at the age of 78. In the history of the papacy, he was the oldest person to be elected since Pope Clement XII in 1730. During his 7 years as the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Emeritus, as he preferred to be known since his resignation, was renowned for many notable initiatives. 

He promoted the use of Latin and re-introduced many papal garments that were no longer in use. He was also responsible for elevating the Tridentine Mass to a prominent position. Furthermore, in 2009, he authorized the creation of Anglican ordinariates. 

Casket Of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

Popes are traditionally interred around 4 to 6 days after their demise. The three coffin ritual is followed, as specified in the Funeral Rites of the Roman Pontiff, the 400-page Vatican handbook. The three coffins used for the internment of a Pope are as follows:

  • An inner coffin, which is made of cypress and closed with red ribbons
  • A larger middle casket, which is made from zinc and adorned with a cross, the Pope’s name, the years during which he was a part of the papacy, as well as his personal coat of arms
  • A much larger outer casket that is made from either walnut or elm and is closed with gold nails

The details for casket of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI are not disclosed yet.

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Final Resting Place Of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI will be laid to rest in the crypt underneath St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. The body will lie in state at St. Peter's Basilica from Monday, January 2, 2023 until his funeral Mass on January 5, 2023. The tombs in the crypt are located near the remains of St. Peter the Apostle, the first pope of the Catholic Church.

Prior to the funeral, Pope Benedict's body will be kept at the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery, where no official visits or public prayers are scheduled. From January 2-4, 2023, the public will be able to pay their respects to the pope by visiting his body as it lies in state at St. Peter's Basilica. The funeral Mass, which is open to the public and does not require reservations, will begin at 9:30 AM on January 5, 2023 in St. Peter's Square. Following the Mass, the pope's coffin will be transported to the Vatican crypt for burial, with a Final Commendation and valediction taking place beforehand.

Sitting popes are given the privilege to choose their preferred burial location. Interestingly,  of the 264 deceased Popes, 148 chose to be buried in Vatican Grottoes, which is situated below St. Peter’s Basilica and holds a large number of papal tombs. Subsequently, some of them were moved to other locations, and St. Peter’s Basilica now remains the resting place of 91 Popes.

Other extant papal tombs include the San Marco Evangelista al Campidoglio, Santa Cecilia and Sant'Andrea della Valle in Rome, Bamberg Cathedral, Nonantola Abbey in Modena and the Avignon Cathedral. 

Differences Between A Regular Casket And Caskets For Popes

A regular casket has fewer restrictions than caskets used for Popes. While the Pope’s casket needs to follow the three coffin ritual, there is no such requirement for regular coffins in standard burials. 

Additionally, the coffins and caskets used for the internment of a Pope must be made from the specific materials mentioned earlier (cypress for the inner coffin, zinc for the middle casket and elm or walnut for the outer casket). 

Another point of difference is the inscriptions and engravings involved. While the Pope’s casket has specific requirements for engravings, regular caskets can be customized (or not) based on individual preferences. 

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Why buy a casket online?

Speaking of regular caskets, did you know that you can purchase caskets online today? Not only is it a more convenient option, but it also gives you the opportunity to compare different kinds of caskets in one place. Here is a list of the top reasons to buy a casket online in case you are planning a funeral.

1. Hassle-free purchases:

You can find a casket within your budget without the hassle of negotiating with different funeral homes. 

2. A wide range of options:

You can find a wide range of casket options like metal caskets, wooden caskets, clear caskets, biodegradable options and even pet caskets online. The best part is that you can browse through the products and compare them from the comfort of your home. 

3. Pre-plan options:

You can even pre-plan your casket purchase online and lock in the current market rates. This means your casket price will remain fixed in spite of inflation. This gives you and your loved ones one less thing to worry about.

4. Easy customization:

Customizing your casket online is also a breeze. All you need to do is choose the specifications as per your preference, and the online casket retailer or manufacturer will ensure your customizations are taken care of. 

If these advantages sound like something you’d like to enjoy, place your casket order online from Titan Caskets. You can compare and make your purchase from a wide range of choices including steel caskets, wooden caskets, oversized caskets, eco-friendly caskets, military caskets, religious caskets and pet caskets.